Head Coach Bankole Olowookere in a handshake with NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau

By Ed Malik, A | November 1, 2022

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Sunday Dare has pledged to support the efforts of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) in grooming identified talents and skills demonstrated by world cup bronze medallists, the Flamingos to enable them graduate to the next level.

The Minister made the pledge when he hosted the bronze medallists of the recently-concluded 7th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals, Flamingos of Nigeria at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Tuesday.

“We commend you for the way you performed without fear and held up the flag to win a historic bronze for our country in this competition. I praise the NFF for the support to the team right from their screening through the qualifiers and to the arrangements for final camping in Turkey and the final tournament in India. We must also commend the coaching crew for their steadfastness in imparting the right knowledge to the players.”

“I will be happy to see these players graduate from this level to the U20 and then to the senior team, because they have the skills and talent, and demonstrated ability to do very well. The Ministry will give NFF the right support to achieve that. They have served well as good ambassadors of our country on and off the pitch.”

President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau introduced the team to the Minister and extolled the team’s exploits during the qualifying campaign leading to the final competition in India, describing the players as “young, energetic, vibrant, positive and promising.”

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, hailed the team for “performing so wonderfully well” to make Nigeria proud, and observed that its success was attributable to synergy and telepathy, which should be credited to the coaching crew.

Responding, the Captain of the team, Alvine Dah-Zossu expressed appreciation to the Ministry and the NFF, and thanked Nigerians for supporting the team during their India campaign.

Other Sports Ministry and NFF members who were at the reception included; Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu (NFF 1st Vice President); Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary); Mr. Timothy Henman (NFF Board Member); Dr. Simon Ebhojiaye (Director, FEADS); Engineer Olatunji Okedairo (Director, Facilities); Alhaji Musa Jafaar (Director, Human Resources); Mr. Segun Oke (Director of Procurement); Chairmen of the Football Associations of Gombe and Kwara States and; Ms Mary Onyali (SA to the Hon. Minister).

Earlier, Anyansi-Agwu led the NFF welcome party to receive the players on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The welcoming party also included Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary); Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications); Barnabas Joro (Head of Protocol); Dayo Enebi Achor (Head of International); Toyin Ibitoye (Special Assistant to the Hon. Minister) and; Emmanuel Ayanbunmi (Chief Protocol Officer).

At the airport eeception, Chief Anyansi-Agwu praised the team for their excellent conduct, on and off the field of play, while in India and assured them that the Government and people of Nigeria, as well as the NFF, are proud of their accomplishments.

A photostatic cheque of the sum of N3million promised the team by Super Eagles’ captain Ahmed Musa was presented to the players and officials at the airport. Chairman of the NFF Task Force on Youth Competitions, Alhaji Aminu Balele Kurfi promised the team the sum of $10,000.

The Presidency is expected to host the team at a later date.

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